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CategoryProposedDeletion: obsolete page, maybe some links to move to other [[CategoryVirtualization]] pages, otherwise rename it do [[DebianOn/MicrosoftVirtualPc2007]] CategoryProposedDeletion: obsolete page, maybe some links to move to other [[CategoryVirtualization]] pages, otherwise rename it do [[InstallingDebianOn/Microsoft/VirtualPC/2007]]

/!\ Microsoft Virtual PC is a non-free (proprietary) software. It isn't supported by Debian. It's probably wiser to use a free SystemVirtualization tool.

DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owners would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

If you need help to get Debian running on your hardware, please have a look at our user support channels where you may find specific channels (mailing list, IRC channel) dedicated to certain types of hardware.

Models covered

  • Virtual PC 2007 (32bits), on Windows XP and Vista 32bit
  • Windows Virtual PC, on Windows 7 32bit (quick test only).

Overall Status

Core Components


Boot Standard Kernel:


LAN network card:


Detect CD/DVD:


Detect hard drives:


Extra Features



- OpenGL


- Resize-and-Rotate(randr)






Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a proprietary driver

Important Note

Debian Lenny

Make sure you read at least the sections Kernel Parameters and Xorg Display before installing Debian.

Installation on Windows Vista X64 - Virtual PC 2007: I experienced problems in booting from the Lenny (Debian 5.02a) ISO files, even with the additional command line parameters ("noreplace-paravirt"). Just burn the ISO files to DVD and try again.

Debian testing and unstable aren't really coverd by this guide, but still, here are a few hints :

Debian Testing

same as Lenny.

Debian Sid

same as Lenny.


Kernel Parameters

You should pass some parameter to the kernel. This can be achieved in two ways :

  • At installation time, when you first boot the kernel, pass the following kernel parameters : "noreplace-paravirt  vga=791" (see CD Boot prompt screenshot)

or, after installation :

  • Open a terminal as Root (under Gnome : Menu> Application> Accessories > Root Terminal)

  • run :
    gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
  • Find the line starting with "# defoptions=", and replace it with :
    # defoptions=noreplace-paravirt vga=791

(Leave the "#" at the beginning of the line).

  • then run update-grub

Xorg Display

The video adapter emulated is an "S3 Inc. 86c764/765 [Trio32/64/64V+]", PciID:5333:8811

  • /!\ If you installed a GUI (Desktop), you will have to reconfigure Xorg, because the display will be too wide and corrupted, like :


That's because the Virtual PC emulation is incomplete ("s3" doesn't support 24bit mode, as explained here. see bug 470408 )

That's easy to fix :

  • Press Ctrl-Alt-F1, to switch to virtual console.
  • Login as root.

  • edit the Monitor and Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf :
    Section "Monitor"
            Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
            Option          "DPMS"
            HorizSync       30-70
            VertRefresh     50-75
    Section "Screen"
            Identifier      "Default Screen"
            Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
            # This line is compulsory
            DefaultDepth 16
            # Those are lines are useful to change the default resolution
            SubSection "Display"
                    Depth     16
                    Modes "1024x768" "800x600"
  • then restart gdm, with :
    invoke-rc.d gdm restart


  • xrandr is working

High Resolution

  • <!> <!> This tip wasn't tested under Lenny.

  • If you need higher resolution (1280x1024), you can use fbdev video driver in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, with vga=794 as kernel parameter (but xrandr doesn't seems to work anymore)

  • Another solution to get high resolution: Instead of using the fbdev video driver you can simply change the default "S3" driver in section "Device" Identifier "S3 Inc. 86c764/765 [Trio32/64/64V+]" to "vesa" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf - In conjunction with vga=794 as kernel parameter you will get 1280x1024 too (xrandr will still work!)


The emulated audio device is a "SoundBlaster 16" compatible device.

  • No action required.


The emulated device is a "Digital Equipment Corporation DECchip 21140 [FasterNet]" PCI id:1011:0009.

  • The device (or driver) has no link detection. So NetworkManager will show an unplugged device. (known upstream by Gnome as bug #418745).
    If you lose Network connection then left click on the nm-applet then click on "Wired Network" :

    • InstallingDebianOn/VMs/MicrosoftVirtualPc2007/etch/networkmanager-bug.png

  • Slow/stalling file transfers on kernel since 2.6.23. Workaround : run a ping command (typically, you can ping your IP gateway).
    • During the installation, you can run :

          while true ; do wget http://www.google.com ; sleep 3 ; done


The mouse is working well.

To enable the scroll wheel, you'll have to pass "proto=imps" to the module psmouse :

  • Open a terminal as Root (under Gnome : Menu> Application> Accessories > Root Terminal)

  • run :
    echo options psmouse proto=imps >> /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.conf
  • Then reboot (or unload and reload that module)

Computer Timer

Due to a bug in Virtual PC (KB918461), you need to pass clock=pit as kernel parameter.

The problem can be that the clock is shifting/drifting, or the keyboard repeat the pressed keys.

Power Management

  • (not covered... use VPC suspend feature.)

Step by Step Installation

Download Debian ISO image

Pick the Installation that best fits you needs, from http://www.debian.org/CD/. I've picked the NetInst CD (at the time of writing, cd).

Create the VM

  • See ?InstallingDebianOn/VMs/MicrosoftVirtualPc2007/lenny

Configure the VM to boot from CD

  • See ?InstallingDebianOn/VMs/MicrosoftVirtualPc2007/lenny

  • You should now reach the Debian CD boot prompt.
    You can type installgui vesa noreplace-paravirt vga=791 to run the nice graphical installer, or just press Enter for text mode.

After installation, make sure you read the paragraph about S3/Xorg bug.

That's it !

  • InstallingDebianOn/VMs/MicrosoftVirtualPc2007/etch/gdm-prompt.png

System Summary


00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX Host bridge (AGP disabled) [8086:7192] (rev 03)
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0

00:07.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ISA [8086:7110] (rev 01)
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0

00:07.1 IDE interface [0101]: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 IDE [8086:7111] (rev 01) (prog-if 80 [Master])
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
        I/O ports at ffa0 [size=16]

00:07.3 Bridge [0680]: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI [8086:7113] (rev 02)
        Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 9

00:08.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: S3 Inc. 86c764/765 [Trio32/64/64V+] [5333:8811] (prog-if 00 [VGA])
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
        Memory at f8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64M]

00:0a.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Digital Equipment Corporation DECchip 21140 [FasterNet] [1011:0009] (rev 20)
        Subsystem: Unknown device [0a00:2114]
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
        I/O ports at ec00 [size=128]
        Memory at febff000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Expansion ROM at febe0000 [disabled] [size=64K]


No USB !



Some configuration files and sample outputs.

  • Microsoft Virtual PC homepage.

    • Virtual Machine Additions for Linux guest operating systems (download)

  • Qemu's qemu-img can convert vhd images.

  • D-I Installation report : testing.


CategoryProposedDeletion: obsolete page, maybe some links to move to other CategoryVirtualization pages, otherwise rename it do ?InstallingDebianOn/Microsoft/VirtualPC/2007